Room Makeover

Dear Readers,

Welcome to June! I hope you all had a nice Memorial Day Weekend. I know I did. I traveled to South Carolina for my not-so-little brother’s high school graduation ceremony and party, which was a lot of fun. Since then, I’ve been recovering from my trip–unpacking, settling back in at work, etc., which is why my blog post for the beginning of June is a teensy bit late 😝 Please indulge my sisterly pride and check out a few photos from my trip below!

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I’ll mention this now at the top of the post: You can still enter my summer book giveaway! To enter, comment on the giveaway post with your summer reading list. You can also post on Instagram with a photo or a video about your summer books. Make sure to tag me, @speck.on.a.speck, to enter! The third way you can enter is by Tweeting at me (@speckonaspeck) with your summer reads. You can enter up to three times, using the methods listed below. I will randomly select a winner on June 15, so you still have 9 days to enter. If you win, I’ll contact you to let you know. You can choose either a blind date with my bookshelf and I’ll send you five to six books based on your reading preferences, or you can send me an Amazon wishlist and I’ll ship you up to $50.00 (including shipping) worth of reading material.

On my road trip, I actually spent way more time listening to podcasts and catching up with friends on the phone than I did listening to audio books. I did, however, listen to all of Grayson, a sweet story about a swimmer who meets a baby gray whale during her morning workout, and her quest to reunite him with his mother. I also started listening to Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Homegoing starts in Ghana and travels up and down the Gold Coast of Africa, at times turning inland, and eventually crossing the Atlantic to the United States: the Deep South, Baltimore, and New York City. If you are a fan of biopics, you’ll be a fan of this book; it’s a collage of mini biopics, following the descendants of two sisters who never met one another, for eight generations.


And now, we’ll get to this time’s topic: room makeovers! Do you have a room you just can’t seem to make…work? It’s not uncommon! It especially happens in a new home when you’re trying to figure out how to make a space functional, comfortable, and… well… cool!

My dad and younger brother, Stefan, live in a new home in South Carolina. The living room is large, and with cathedral ceilings, an open floor plan, hardwood floors, and not a lot of furniture, they’re finding it hard to regulate noise levels. They’ve been doing their best to make it homey, and wanted things to look really nice for Stefan’s party.

I put my heads together with my family and we came up with a couple of things we knew the room needed. I regret that I didn’t take a ‘before’ picture so you can really see the transformation, but here’s the ‘after’ picture, and I’ll point out elements of it for the remainder of the post.


First, it’s important to know what was already in the room. The black leather sofas & recliner as well as the three floor lamps are originals. (The colors on the floor lamps are programmable!!) Not pictured, usually in the center of the room, was a basic table for four. You can see two chairs situated on the wall below the television. The chair matches these tables. Also original to the room space was the replication van Gogh piece, Starry Night over the Rhone.

Something the room obviously needed was color. The white walls, the black furniture, the dark floors… it just needed something to spice it up, but that something also had to be true to the minimalistic character of the existing room. I knew that something geometric would help liven up the room, and fit with it’s existing ambience. The room is already full of subtle geometric patterns. You can see that the hallway to the bedrooms has a curved archway, and you can just make out the cove corners between the long living room wall and the hallway. There are also angles everywhere, between each wall and ceiling peak.

I knew that if we were going to add a color to the room, it had to draw together not only the basic neutral colors, but it couldn’t clash with the van Gogh piece. The logical color choice was blue. Since Stefan’s school colors were blue and gold, and all of our decorations were also blue and gold, it seemed like the stars over the Rhone were aligning for a tasteful harmony of purpose, comfort, and style.

We found the above blue & tan rug at Home Goods after also checking out World Market’s selection (awesome but too expensive!). My dad’s budget for a rug was $100.00–not a lot to work with, but enough to find a quality piece that was decent. This indoor-outdoor, handmade polyester rug was on sale for $89.00 because it had some minor flaws. (A few of the tan strands were sticking out and had to be trimmed back.) Stefan, my little brother, actually picked it out! The second I saw it, I knew it had what we were looking for: it had a geometric pattern (check), it was blue (check), it fit the size well (check), and it was withing budget (check).

Another benefit of the rug was it helps to dampen the noise extremes that can happen in this room, mentioned above.

Since I knew we were going to attempt to give the room a bit of a facelift for the party, I brought down a few decorations of my own from home. On the couches, you can just make out a few black & white mudcloth pillows. These were Christmas presents to me this year from my mom. Isn’t it funny how basic, geometric pillows work well in almost any environment? I think my pillows might look better on my dad’s couches than they do on mine! (I did take them home with me after the party 😄)

Finally, the room needed some personal touches. It’s a family room, right? It needed to reflect that family. My mom & I developed some pictures celebrating family events: my brother Ian’s wedding in Korea last September, a few Christmas photos, and some of Stefan’s senior pictures. The mantle was a little over-crowded with photos, but we did the best we could with the surface space we had. My mom & I each bought discount frames. I don’t think we spent more than $15.00 on any single frame. Shutterfly was running a special, also, so I got the prints developed for free and only had to pay for shipping. 👍

So… scroll back up to that before photo. Edit out the rug in your mind. And the photos on the mantle. And the pillows on the couch & recliner. Edit out the display table & picture board. Move the chairs to the center of the table, and add in a basic table of the same color and wood material. Quite a difference, eh?

Have you ever given a room a makeover? What did you do? Did you find a rug to draw things together? Did you paint an accent wall? Did you buy a new piece of furniture? I’d love to see the result! Drop me a line in the comment section, or tag me on the ‘gram!



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